I had the greatest of intentions. I thought all the right thoughts. I bought all the right cards. I had it all mapped out. But then I forgot to follow through.
I have (almost) forgotten everyone's birthday this month. I did remember my Middle Son's birthday. We haven't done anything to commemorate it yet. But I sent him a text ...
Yes. That is it. I sent my son a "Happy Birthday" text. I wrote a little blog that was more about 'turning twenty seven', than it was about My Son. I printed off some things that marked his progress on their farm. I didn't thoughtfully put it altogether in the shape of a gift. I simply handed them to him with little fanfare or excitement.
My words were something to the effect of "Here - I printed these off for you. I meant to do something kind and thoughtful with them. But I didn't. So here they are."
I have been up to my shoulders in getting this family book project completed. I was supposed to be done. I was planning on feeling free as a bird and effortlessly soaring in a gentle breeze right about now. Instead, I am still obsessed with fine tuning right down to the wire.
I write a letter to my mom every week (almost) without fail. This past week? I failed. I didn't even remember I had forgotten until it was Wednesday.
I should have phoned her. But I was feeling stressed. Mom picks up on these things when they don't even exist so I didn't dare call when I wasn't on my A-game. She would know. So I didn't write. I didn't call.
I thought I would call on the weekend. She called first. I was in the shower. I called back. She had to get off the phone. She had company all weekend. I was busy all weekend (until Sunday). We didn't chat last week. Nor did I have a letter in the mail. I have one beside me this morning. Maybe this week, I should send two ...
I was sitting with a friend at a house concert Saturday night (the 20th) and acknowledged that one of our mutual friend's birthdays was coming up. She quietly mentioned "It was on the 8th..."
The moment she spoke those words, I remembered that I forgot to call or touch base with the friend who was sitting right beside me on her father's birthday. I had it all 'planned'. I wanted to take a little road trip and get out of the city in and around that date. But the book overruled everything. I didn't remember until it was four days too late. I didn't know what to say. So I said nothing.
I was feeling very good about offering to do a good deed for another friend. I didn't have time to go out for coffee last week but asked for a 'rain cheque'. She wasn't available when I was, during the week. Then she called as I was running out the door Saturday night. As we talked, I recognized something I could do for her and I offered.
All I did, was polish up her resume and write a cover letter. I called her to confirm some details Sunday morning and we agreed to (finally) meet for coffee and I would bring it with me.
I was feeling a little less hard on myself as I was (finally) doing the right thing and giving something of myself ...
We sat down and talked for quite some time when I found out it was her birthday. I felt like a schmuck.
I did all the right things but I forgot it was her birthday.
I have her birthday card and a birthday card for my other friend (whose birthday came and went two weeks ago) sitting in a drawer.
I came home and had a talk with myself. I am simply not a big celebrator of birthdays, occasions and holidays. It just isn't my style. My kids will vouch for me. Their therapists will back them up.
I made it my mission many years ago, to make an effort to act in thoughtful ways throughout the year and not save it up for special occasions. For the most part, I have succeeded. In fact yesterday, I did all the right things for all the right reasons. I gave a little piece of myself without realizing it was my friend's birthday.
I would much rather be on the receiving end of a kindness for no special reason whatsoever. I have received gifts or cards that felt like they were give out of duty and obligation and I could feel it within the card.
So, my friends, I apologize. My heart, my thoughts and my intentions were in the right place. Unfortunately 'that place' at the moment is called my dresser drawer. It is full to overflowing with good intentions.
I really need to rid myself of this book project so I can tend to my friendships. That is, if my friends are still calling me 'friend'...